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Majority Opinions Authored by Justice Harlan Stone

Petitioners brought this suit in the United States District Court for Western Pennsylvania to restrain threatened criminal prosecution of them in the state courts by respondents, the City of Jeannette (a Pennsylvania municipal corporation) and its Mayor, for violation of a city ordinance which prohibits the solicitation of orders for merchandise without first procuring a license from the city authorities and paying a license tax. The ordinance as applied is held to be an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech, press and religion in Murdock v. Pennsylvania, ante, p. 105. The questions decisive of the present case are whether the district court has statutory jurisdiction as a federal court to entertain the suit, and whether petitioners have by their pleadings and proof established a cause of action in equity.